Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gems #5

"Of all the dispositions and habits that can lead to political posterity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of … citizens. And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion to religious principle." (George Washington.)

Married People Would Be Happier (published in 1886):

If home troubles were never told to a neighbor.

If expenses were proportioned to receipts.

If they tried to be as agreeable as in courtship days.

If each would remember the other was a human being, not an angel.

If each was as kind to the other as when they were lovers.

If fuel and provisions were laid in during the high tide of summer work.

If both parties remembered that they married for worse as well as for better.

If men were as thoughtful for their wives as they were for their sweethearts.

If there were fewer silk and velvet street costumes, and more plain, tidy house dresses.

"You must not spread your feelings all around, so far, but remember other people have feelings too. Your feelings are sure "to be stepped on" if you do not keep them at home." (1887.)

Boys, Don't (1911):

Don't forget that you are to be men and husbands.

Don't smoke in the presence of ladies. It is never respectful.

Don't measure your respect to a person by the clothes he wears.

Don't try to make your fortune by easier means than hard work.

Don't speak carelessly of a lady's character. It is her only anchor.

Don't forget that the best and greatest man that ever walked the earth was a boy.

Don't fix your stare on the fair ones who pass along the streets. To stare at anyone is not manly at all.

Don't sneer at the opinions of others. You may learn wisdom from those far less pretentious than yourself.

Don't swear. It is not necessary and does not good. It is neither wise, manly or polite, nor agreeable to others.

Don't grow up to be a sour old bachelor, when there are so many true and lovely girls that will make such excellent wives.

Don't flirt with a young lady to whom you are a perfect stranger. It looks ridiculous; and you may get thrashed for it some day.

Don't unnecessarily make enemies. The will of a dog is better than its ill will.

Don't cripple your independence and your individuality to please friends.


"Not our circumstances, but the use we make of our circumstances decides the question of our gain or loss day by day in our earthly course. According to the spirit in which we meet them, helps will prove hindrances or hindrances prove helps in our pilgrim path." Anonymous (1911).

"What we need above all things in these crowded days is the setting apart of many listening times; times of quiet in which we can hear the heavenly voices that call us, unregarded in the busy day.” Selected.

"There are two good rules which ought to be written on every heart: Never believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it is true; never tell even that, unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary, and that God is listening while you tell it." Henry Van Dyke.

At the foundation, this sentiment arises from an overestimation of ourselves. We are some important personage, and we demand that certain consideration be accorded to us, and in the event that this is not done, we are angry or displeased. We need to be reminded of Paul's advice: "Let no man think more highly of himself than he ought to think." Anonymous.

"Little words are the sweetest to hear; little charities fly farthest, and stay longest on the wing; little lakes are the stillest; little hearts are the fullest, and little farms are the best tilled. Little books are read the most, and little songs are dearest loved. And when Nature would make any thing especially rare and beautiful, she makes it little. The Sermon on the Mount is little, but the last dedication discourse was an hour long. Life is made up of littles; death is what remains of them all. Day is made up of little beams, and night is glorious with the little stars." Anonymous.

"If we only knew what the weakest and worst had borne, if we only understood how they were tempted, if we could read the story of their secret battle, could fathom their wretchedness, I think we should cease despising in that hour. Nothing shows the littleness of one's mind so much as a habit of speaking slightingly of others." Selected.

"It cannot be that the earth is man's only abiding place. It cannot be that our life is a mere bubble cast up by eternity to float a moment on its waves and then sink into nothingness. Else why is it that the glorious aspirations which leap like angels from the temple of our hearts are forever wandering unsatisfied? Why is it that all the stars that hold their festival around the midnight throne are set above the grasp of our limited faculties, forever mocking us with their unapproachable glory? And, finally, why is it that bright forms of human beauty presented to our view are taken from us, leaving the thousand streams of our affections to flow back in Alpine torrents upon our hearts? There is a realm where the rainbow never fades; where the stars will spread out before us like islands that slumber in the ocean; and where the beautiful beings which now pass before us like shadows will stay in our presence forever." (Prentice in "Man's Higher Destiny".)

Getting The Best Out Of Oneself:

1. By seeing one's best possible and actual self. Hold up character to the mirror of Jesus.

2. By getting thorough acquaintance with one's own powers and capacities and limitations. We do not begin to know ourselves and do not try to some do not want to.

3. By having unbounded faith in God, and a right confidence in self, with God's help, not foolish over confidence.

4. By cultivating all one's resources; seizing all one's opportunities; never giving up to discouragement; rising superior to obstacles; being a whole man and woman, brave, cheery, hopeful.

5. By being the best to others and getting the best out of others in return; never by harming or envying others or running them down.

6. By living daily in the companionship of Jesus. Anonymous.

The Gift Of Appreciation

"For the best results, the cultivation of higher ideals and the gift of appreciation must go together. Lacking a normal sense of appreciation the farther one advances in his ideals the more unhappy and disagreeable he becomes. The hypercritical spirit and habit are not necessarily a testimony of superior wisdom and goodness or of exceptional attainments. One can easily form a habit of regarding others and their efforts with depreciation instead of appreciation, and of undervaluing one's own God given benefits to such a degree to eliminate all gladness and goodness from his lot and mission in life. The spirit and exercise of appreciation are the very essence of gratitude and thankfulness, in principle. The exercise of an appreciative spirit is conducive to one's own happiness and to be merited encouragement of others. It is a good thing to want to see merit rather than demerit in others. It is better for one's self to look for the bright side of things than to dwell in the shadows. It is far better to dwell on the good points of another than to speak of his faults and reflect discredit on his worth in undue proportion. It requires the same skill to discover the merit of a work of art as to detect its defects. The same principle applies when an estimate is to be made on personal merit and demerit. One should cultivate the faculty of discovering the better part, the better side of others and their efforts, rather than to take pleasure in portraying their weaknesses and in advertising their shortcomings." The Evangelical Messenger.

"Let us remember our influence. A good deal of our writing is done with invisible ink we cannot read it at the time. The flower does not know what becomes of its breath; it sails away on the air. We cannot tell what becomes of our breath; it goes off likewise on its mighty mission." (Anonymous, 1918.)

"Zacharias and Elizabeth took God at His word and entered into covenant with Him to do their part. That must be our attitude toward Him, if we would receive His blessings. If we are not doing what He expects of us, we will not be in a position to receive His blessings. It will be no adequate excuse for us to say, `It is too hard for me.' Depend upon it, in every command of God there is wrapped up a promise that strength will be given to obey. All God's biddings are enablings."

"Too many people know the Bible only as literature. It is as if they knew the guideposts of a country and nothing of the climate. They take up the Bible as literature and not as a revelation; they go to the Bible as students, but never as sinners; with curiosity, but not with need; they know the letter and not the spirit. They do everything with the Bible except try it. That is the one indispensable thing." (Jowett, 1912).

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